Sometimes you don't have paintbrushes lying around your house. Or, more accurately in my house, you know they are there somewhere but don't want to venture into the scary abyss otherwise known as "the garage" to find them. Or, also true in my house, you don't want the kidlets touching your precious paintbrushes because you know they are going to smash them into the paper and bend the bristles ridiculously.
Still, you can allow your kids to paint with a variety of other methods. There is of course the fingerpainting, which really is a misnomer as most kids use their entire hand, elbow, feet, and other assorted body parts to "paint." Check in your bathroom cabinets for painting materials (not make-up brushes!) such as q-tips and cotton balls. These are particularly fabulous for decorating newspaper advertisements and articles (and also helps cut down on paper waste - that stuff ain't cheap!)
We visited the kitchen and the play room for our painting materials. First we experimented with drinking straws.
Basically you put a few small puddles of slightly-watered-down paint on your paper and blow on it with your straw. Different straw angles produce different results. For those with limited lung capacity, such as our Spud, cut the straw down to a smaller and much more manageable size. Amazingly, when we tried this, no child of mine attempted to drink the paint up the straw. When you are satisfied with your swirly puddle of color, take another sheet of white paper and carefully place it on top of your paint puddle. Press it down without sliding it around. Carefully lift it back up, and presto!
You will have a beautiful marble effect on both sheets of paper that mirror each other, much like an ink blot test. Lay these out to dry. Once completely dry, they can be cut into a variety of shapes - we made butterflies with ours.
We raided the playroom for some Hot Wheels for our next painting project. Again, just put some small puddles of different colored paint on your paper, and then drive your cars through the paint in circles, figure eights, hearts, swirls, whatever your heart desires. Don't let the kids get too carried away or you'll be left with a brownish swirly design - not pretty.
Don't worry about the cars; when you finish, you can just rinse the wheels with hot water and the paint will come right off.
And that's it! Perfect for a rainy/snowy/the-silly-weather-can't-make-up-its-mind day.
What's that? You don't have paint either? Well, here's just a few recipes for making your own:
Egg Paint - Mix one egg yolk with a little water to get a paint consistency. Add a few pinches of Kool-Aid and stir until you get the color you want.
Jello Paint - Mix one TBS Jell-O powder and 3 TBS boiling water and let cool for about thirty minutes. Use before the gelatin sets.
Ketchup and Mustard - Just use as is!
Milk Paint - Mix 1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk and 1/2 cup water. Add food coloring to the desired shade. If too thin, add more dry milk; if too thick, add more water.